Wikia – searching with the wisdom of crowds

It’s a brave business that openly announces its intent to beat Google at their main game. But Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, is nothing if not a man of vision – his commercial start-up Wikia is currently assembling the base of a distributed web-search facility which will be enhanced by its users, in the form of human editors who will clarify ambiguous results.

We hear a lot about crowdsourcing from its supporters and detractors alike, and the jury is still out on Wikipedia’s reliability for that very reason. But one thing’s for certain – there’ll be a lot of SEO consultants with a vested interest in this project not doing so well. Ever seen a wiki-war? Now, just imagine the sort of intense conflict that paid shills could produce over search results … and the potential income a bribe-taking editor could make …

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